NFC payments are to play second fiddle to mobile advertising in the business model drawn up by the Project Oscar consortium of UK wireless operators, who have rebranded their combined platform as Weve.
Originally pitched as a SIM-based platform for mobile payments, the operators behind Weve - Everything Everywhere, O2 and Vodafone - have recalibrated their offering to concentrate instead on a building a clearing house for business-to-consumer mobile marketing.
The Weve holding page plays down the payments angle and instead focuses on the benefits of a single standard platform for mobile advertising and the delivery of loyalty discounting and voucher redemption.
"Weve joins up every disparate link in the m-commerce chain with a virtuous circle of mobile interactions designed to make life easier for businesses and consumers," reads the home page mission statement. "Everything from the consumer opt-in process to text-based, rich media and app-based promotions, voucher integration / redemption schemes and comprehensive payments and loyalty processes are designed to feed back into this circle; ensuring that the more participants there are, the more efficient and innovative the system becomes."
The operators - who account for 80% of UK mobile users - still have designs on the payments market, but realise that the fight for market share and revenue in this segment will be a tougher play than the creation of an ad-based equivalent to Google on the handset.